Have you ever tried an angel food cake made from scratch? They are a little intimidating, at first, but the flavor and texture is extraordinary and you will never be happy with a bakery angel food cake again. They are worth every bit of effort!! It is amazing how tall this cake gets!
Read these instructions at least twice before you start baking…then follow the instructions to a "T". This is one cake you shouldn’t experiment with.
1 cup of cake flour
1 ½ cups white sugar (divided)
12 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°. Be sure that your 10” (two piece) angel food pan is TOTALLY FREE of any grease or oil and it needs to be an angel food pan that is NOT Teflon coated. Make sure your mixing bowl, beaters and mixing spoons are all totally grease free. Remember, grease is the enemy when making an angel food cake because the cake is mostly egg whites. The cake needs to “grab onto” the sides of the pan in order for it to raise, and if there is grease (or Teflon), it can’t do that.
Do ahead: Sift 1 cup of CAKE flour with ¾ cup of white sugar and set aside.
In a large bowl, whip the egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar and salt with an electric mixer, on high, until you get medium peaks (it takes about five minutes). Continue to whip and SLOWLY add ¾ cup of the sugar into the whites. Continue beating until the whites get to the stiff peak stage.
Next FOLD the flour/sugar combo into the whipped egg whites a tablespoon at a time. Make sure you FOLD, this mixture into the egg whites, DO NOT use mixer to do this and DO NOT stir. Gently fold from top to bottom. This process is necessary so you do not deflate the egg whites.
Put the batter into the angel food pan and smooth the top a little. Bake for 45 minutes. When the cake is done, the top will spring back just a little when you lightly touch it and the cake top will be dry to the touch. Remove from oven and immediately invert the pan and cool for a couple of hours. To remove the cooled cake from the pan, use a long slender bladed knife (I like my bread knife) and run it around the sides of the pan in small sawing motions. Next do the same around the center tube of the pan. Lift the cake out and run your knife under the cake, it should then life right off of the pan.
NOTE: Separate your egg whites into a small bowl before you add them to your mixing bowl so you don’t get ANY yolks into the batter.
NOTE: Save the yolks in a clean jar in the fridge. They will be good for a couple days at least.
NOTE: I usually run my utensils through the hottest dishwasher setting before I make this recipe, to insure they are totally grease free.
I hope I haven’t scared you away from trying this cake. It is delicious and worth every bit of effort.